Yesterday, as the passing of soul legend Aretha Franklin was announced, an international outpouring of love and gratitude could be witnessed. The queen of soul music, who signed to Atlantic records at the age of 24, enjoyed a lifelong career, inspiring generations of vocalists to sing with confidence and a generations of African-American civil rights activists to resist their oppressors.
She was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012, a recognition of her gospel roots and widely-appreciated gospel album Amazing Grace, recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, 1972. Her 1967 rendition of Respect became anthemic and the album it introduced, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, became a firm favourite of audiophiles and recording enthusiasts, who take interest in the turbulent backstory of its Muscle Shoals and New York production, as well as its remarkable sound.
Speaking on Twitter, Craig Charles said, ‘So sad that Aretha Franklin has died she wasn’t just the queen of soul she was the queen of gospel and the queen of my heart’ while Aja Graydon of Kindred the Family Soul tweeted, ‘There isn’t one that hasn’t been influenced by you. You raised us all.’
Carole King, who composed one of Aretha’s greatest hits, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, expressed her, ‘love, respect and gratitude.’ while country music legend Willie Nelson posted a heartfelt message too.
Whether it was Gospel, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Pop,or Civil Rights, Aretha Franklin was the greatest gift and the voice of a generation. She could turn any song into a hymn. She will be greatly missed here on earth, but that band in heaven just got our Angel
Rest In Peace Aretha
— Willie Nelson (@WillieNelson) August 16, 2018
Aretha was remembered on Newsnight last night and you can stream records from her back catalogue here.
Belgian jazz saxophonist Jack Sels was — and still is — widely appreciated in his home country, yet his reluctance to leave Antwerp prior to his untimely death in 1970, prevented him making a wider impact on the jazz scene. That said, before his passing at the age of 48, he did manage to accompany Dizzy Gillespie and Lester Young among others, and recorded enough material to populate a deep anthology, released next month by Sdban records. The label describe him as, ‘Belgium’s most mythical jazz musician,’ and jazz educator and radio host Marc Van Den Hoof speaks about him in the below promotional short. Minor Works will contain rare and previously unreleased recordings by Sels and you can check out his tremendous composition Dorian 0437 ahead of release.
Recorded live to 2” tape: ‘no computers, no messing around.’ Saint Agnes’ new single Diablo, Take Me Home is powerful statement from the rising rock outfit. It’s overdriven, bluesy licks, raucous energy and swirling swells of vocal echo, make it both an immense recorded work and a sure fire killer for their forthcoming Manchester Psych Fest appearance.
Fans of Young Fathers will dig the wicked new single by Fat Tony. Texas is lifted from the Houston-based MC’s forthcoming album 10,000 Hours, released next month on Don Giovanni records. The minimal production, led by skipping drum machines and laden with foley effects, cuts through the noise with ease.
Sam Wilkes the bassist known for his work with electro-jazz group KNOWER, announced his Leaving records debut full-length WILKES this week. First single Tonight is a weighty, lo-fi workout featuring Louis Cole on drums and sax work from Sam Gendel, who Wilkes feels is ‘the greatest saxophone player alive.’ Fans of BadBadNotGood, The Comet is Coming and Ben Vince, hop aboard!
Peter Brewis of Field Music and folk musician Sarah Hayes are You Tell Me. Their single Clarion Call is a beautiful, earnest number, incorporating acoustic piano, steel guitar swells, breathy vocal pads and soft brushed drums. Their debut single is available as a limited 7” single and they plan a debut album for early 2019.
Folk trio Slow Moving Clouds announced their new album Starfall this week, sharing a new music video for its lead single Trin. The group features Aki, Danny Diamond and Kevin Murphy, and their sound is one that has expanded to incorporate elements of post-punk, European folk and drone music. They plan to release the new project on the new platform PEOPLE, which founders Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National) hope will encourage collaboration and provide digital alternatives for contemporary musicians dissatisfied with aspects of the streaming-oriented industry at present. Check out the atmospheric, black and white visual below.
Mancunian producer Phil France, released a video for Bells this week, created by Rich Williams & People Staring. It sees France and his fellow musicians performing the track with an array of gear and also incorporates atmospheric library footage, used under creative commons and keeping with the bold red theme.
The Mouse Outfit published a new video for Late Night Doors featuring Berry Blacc, Dubbul O and Ellis Meade this week. Shot and edited by Defty and co., it features shots of the Manchester cityscape, with each MC rhyming on stage and straight down the barrel. It’s the closing track from recent LP Jagged Tooth Crook, which you can stream and purchase here.